Ent Center for the Arts adds art installment to UCCS Art Collection

October 10, 2017

Jasmine Nelson

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    The Ent Center for the Arts has begun to put the final touches on their interior décor, including the installation of a new art piece.

    The piece, 15 miles of colored ball chain, adorns the ceiling of the Murray and Betty Ross Lobby. The strands cost $250,000 and was chosen from 200 proposals for art installations.

    The chain design, proposed by Ball-Nogues, can be seen from the wall of glass windows that face North Nevada Avenue.

    For art to be installed when a new building is constructed, the Collection Committee, comprised of several UCCS members including the Visual and Performing Arts Department chair, the Heller Center for the Arts curator and the campus archivist, review applications and make their recommendations for art installments to Chancellor Venkat Reddy.

    The chancellor and administration then make the final decision of which piece to commission.

    Members who reviewed designs for the Ent Center included Gary Reynolds, associate vice chancellor for Campus Planning and Facilities Management and Daisy McGowan, director of the Gallery of Contemporary Art ,who served as the committee chair.

    McGowan said the selection panel found it challenging to choose a piece from many strong proposals, but that this sculpture “amplifies and dialogues with the dynamic architecture of the building.”

    “A simple material – ball chain – blends with an intense level of technological sophistication and connects to the Light and Space artists, a movement investigating how shapes and use of light could affect the environment and perception of the viewer,” said McGowan in an email.

    All state buildings must contain an art installation, and the construction of new or renovated buildings must set aside 1 percent of its budget for including this permanent piece of art, according to the Colorado Creative Industries website.

    Because UCCS is a state university, the campus buildings have been subject to this rule since its establishment in 1977. The goal of the program, according to the CCI website, is to make a diverse selection of art accessible to all Coloradans.

    So far, about 550 artworks have been purchased or commissioned by the state as part of this program.

Before his passing, the UCCS theater production company Theatreworks founder and artistic director Murray Ross served on the Collection Committee.

    Among a dozen works of art installed on campus as part of this program is the white marble Mountain Lion statue located at the west entrance of the Kraemer Family Library, originally installed in the UC Lower Plaza, in 2005.

    The sculpture was created by artist Ernest Geolfos and represents the Mountain Lion mascot of UCCS. The two-ton sculpture was purchased by Chandler Bergen as a monument for his late wife, whose strength reminded him of a mountain lion, and donated to the university.

    Outside of Columbine Hall is Don Green’s stainless steel and glass sculpture “Eos,” which has stood as the building’s introduction since 1998.

    Green’s sculpture was inspired by the Greek goddess of the dawn and the four winds. The stainless-steel triangles atop the vertical forms of the sculpture capture light and add balance to the architecture of the surrounding buildings, according to the Colorado Creative Industries Public Art Collection.

    Perhaps the most recognizable art installations at UCCS is the swinging pendulum, titled “Pulsing,” on the main floor of the Osborne Center for Science and Engineering. The piece’s vortex points straight to the opposite side of the globe, the French Southern and Antarctic Lands.